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Nanny References WWYD/WWYexpect?

(8 Posts)
navyeyelasH Sun 21-Sep-08 20:18:41

Hey everyone, as some of you might know I do a lot of ad-hoc nanny work and I'm finding that quite a few people are asking to speak to my current employers (understandably.

But I am thinking that it's getting a bit much now and they are doing 1/2 reference a week (although don't seem to mind) do you think it's ok to ask them to write something down? My worries with this is:

a) their reference might be biased as I will obviously get to see it
b) potential parents would rather chat to current families rather than read a reference?

If you think it's a good idea to get them to write something do you think I should give them a form to fill in or just let them write down whatever they feel is important.

I was also thinking of getting the children (that are old enough) to write a "reference" would parents think much of it though?

Any tips/advice gratefully received x

MrsWobble Sun 21-Sep-08 20:35:25

i would have no problem with constant reference phone calls - they're not that great a problem and if it meant my nanny was able to earn more money not from me (and not in my hours) then I would think that a good thing.

I would not be at all happy with my children being asked for references - they would not be old enough to understand and tbh I'm not sure as a potential employer I would put any weight on them anyway.

Hope that helps.

Bink Sun 21-Sep-08 20:51:02

Yes, I think it would be totally OK to ask your current employers for a "form" reference you can give out as a starting point. Lots of people (especially for ad hoc childcare) will not really want much more than the written testimonial (and it will be interesting for your current employers, and you, to see what "further questions" still come up even when you've got that to hand out). As, of course, some people will want to follow up - and you do want to make it clear that following up with a phone call is expected & OK.

Don't do a form - if they're stuck for ideas, give them some headings - attitude/professionalism/flexibility/initiative/punctuality etc. - let me know if you want more ideas for that!

I always offer to write a reference for people (well, the ones I love, obviously) who do ad hoc stuff for us. I think it's a nice way of showing appreciation, as well as helping build their career smile

Bink Sun 21-Sep-08 20:53:10

Oops, just realised that I said "do a 'form' reference but don't use a form" - very unclear. What I meant was get a "To Whom It May Concern" standard reference but DON'T use a tick-box form.

Honestly, I am a lucid human being in real life.

RCT Sun 21-Sep-08 20:59:04

As an employer of a nanny, even if I saw a written reference I would always want to speak to the writer of the reference to check they exist and also to find out if there's anything they didn't want to put in the reference (because - as you say - the nanny would have seen it). I would always expect both a fairly glowing written reference and then an honest conversation with the previous/current employer.

funnypeculiar Sun 21-Sep-08 21:05:51

I think a written reference is certainly worth while - some people may be happy just with that which would make for a bit less work for your employers smile Personally, I would want to talk to someone too (much more likely to let out little concerns person to person) but a written ref would make the call shorter.

Defn let them write what they like (but, as bink suggests, give them some areas to cover) - form is much less personal

Personally, I'd be really impressed with written references from children too - less because I would set any store by what they had written, but because it would say to me that this was a person who cared about the happiness of her charges, and thought their opinions were worth listening to.

Ebb Sun 21-Sep-08 21:10:08

I have written references from all my previous employers which I show along with my CV etc. It is then up to potential employers to contact the referees. I understand it must make you feel a bit awkward if you have lots of people ringing up the previous employer but I guess that's just the way it is! Having just helped my previous employer find my replacement, we didn't bother contacting anyone who didn't provide any written references and obviously confirmed the details with the references that were provided.

navyeyelasH Sun 21-Sep-08 21:24:28

Thanks all for the advice I think that the way forward is to ask my boss for a written reference and tell any new potential parents that they are more then welcome to call and have a chat too. Hopefully it might cut the phone requests if only a little; the family I work for are very busy and their life is quite stressful without having to find the time to do something for me too.

*mrs Wobble* my portfolio is often kept in my car and most of the children I work for have seen it and a few of them have asked if they could write something about me to go inside it. For instance a 4 year old I have done a lot of work with wants to let any other children I work for know that they are allowed to brush my hair as she wasn't allowed to do that with her last nanny & she wants to make sure they know I don't mind. Another charge I work with (6) wants to tell any other children that I don't let him watch TV but I know lots of card tricks. I'm sure the biggest one I look after (12) would love to tell everyone that I am the meanest nanny "EVER" hmm

I would sit them down and plague them to wrote something lovely or anything like that! I find that a lot of children I work with are always curious about the other children I also look after and maybe writing something down (if they wanted) might make them feel really valued and included, rather than anxious or worried that I might leave them if I find a "better" child - going through that at the mo with a 7 year old as her last nanny did a moonlight flit sad. Then all the children could also read what others have written about me which could be fun!

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